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Schools Fight for Funding, Adequate Space

In a few weeks, kids across America will let out a collective groan as they throw new backpacks over their shoulders with all sorts of new school supplies, board their school buses, and head off to their first day of classes for the 2015-16 school year.

Teachers and administrators face challenges for funding each year. And each year they have to get more creative with ways they can stretch their dollars. There are myriad suggestions to make funding better for schools but there is hardly a consensus, particularly when dealing with different areas. What may work in urban Los Angeles might not work in rural Texas or Mississippi.

“The state [Illinois] relies heavily on property taxes to fund education.”

Funding Woes
In Illinois, the state legislature is attempting to restructure the state formula for funding education and freeze property taxes, according to the Illinois Times. The two go hand in hand because the state relies heavily on property taxes to fund education. And Illinois has some of the highest property tax rates in the country.

So state Sen. Andy Manar, D-Bunker Hill, has proposed a formula in which school districts that have a weak property tax base would get more money from the state while those districts with a stronger tax base would get less. The source reported that the bill failed in the state Senate last month because of the state’s funding woes. But Manar said he will push for another vote.

The state of Washington is still struggling to find a way to fund public education. In 2012, the state Supreme Court ruled that the state violated its own Constitution by not adequately funding K-12 education. The court determined that the funding was too reliant on local tax levies and that there was too big of a funding difference between poor school districts and those in more affluent areas; a problem similar to that of Illinois. Ever since, the state legislature has been trying to solve the problem but there has been little success, according to The Olympian.

Federal funding for education isn’t immune to fiscal woes. Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., has proposed an amendment that changes the formula for how the federal government distributes Title I funds. Title I funds are used specifically for educating poor students. The formula for calculating the distribution is complicated. But Emma Brown wrote earlier this month for the Washington Post that under the current distribution formula for Title I funds, students in less populated or rural areas tend to receive less.

Under Burr’s proposal, there are some states that could see their Title I funds increased. But others can have funds cut drastically.

“As enrollments go up, space becomes a commodity.”

Storage Solutions
School districts have to stretch their resources as far as they will go. The have to make do with less and less all the time. And that certainly includes physical space.

The districts that face the biggest challenges are those where enrollments may be going up and space becomes a commodity. More specifically, storage becomes a premium. Administrators and teachers scramble to find space to store supplies, athletic equipment and items for special events. Drama, music and athletic departments have their own equipment to be stored when not in use. Musical instruments, theater costumes, football equipment and uniforms of all sorts take up a lot of space.

Some expanding districts may have new construction in the offing that could solve space issues. Maybe it’s an addition onto an existing school or a completely new school. But as those districts go through the lengthy process of having to secure funding, they may have to find adequate storage until all the details are worked out.

Mobile Mini offers custom, portable storage solutions that are right for a school district’s needs. Mobile Mini containers are customizable with a patented locking system that keeps a school’s supplies and equipment safe from theft and inclement weather.